Many of you are already big fans of the Australian singer/songwriter Cody Simpson. His CD came out last year featuring the single “On My Mind,” and he toured in the summer of 2011 with Greyson Chance. He just turned 15 on January 11, and now he is headlining his own sold-out tour in the U.S. and Canada. We sat down with him to get the scoop on his music and more!
Q: Did you have any idea when you first put a video up on YouTube that you would get discovered? Cody: No. Being in Australia, you always think of the music industry as being like an American thing, like it’s on the other side of the world, like it could never happen. Then I discovered this thing called YouTube. I didn’t have any intentions to become a singer professionally. I love to sing and stuff, but it just hadn’t really crossed my mind. I’m grateful that it’s happened and it’s just real fun. I love it.
Q: How did your friends from home react when you got discovered?
Cody: Sixth grade was. . . I went through a little bit of bullying. I wouldn’t call it like bullying-bullying, but having chosen something that not many other teenage boys think is cool, like singing and stuff, I did get teased a little for doing this. And then I was like moving to America, and I was like, “See you guys. I’m leaving.” But it’s funny now that a lot of them are trying to be my friend. So, I always just stick to my friends who were my friends before, and so I always know that they’re the ones who were there from the beginning.
Q: What was it like touring with Greyson Chance last summer?
Cody: It was cool! He’s very funny. He’s a great kid and a great guy. He’s become a great friend of mine. Being on the tour bus together, we played PlayStation and skateboarded and stuff like normal kids. We did school together. I’m in ninth grade. He’s in seventh or eighth so we did different work, but we were always together.
Q: You and your sister visited children at the hospital. What was that like?
Cody: Yes, we were in Boston and we visited the Children’s Hospital and it was a little bit overwhelming. Going to hospitals is always overwhelming because you see so many kids that are very unfortunate, so we wanted to make sure we did something special. I’m working with Pastry shoes and my sister is doing the campaign for Pastry shoes. I can’t wear them because they’re female shoes, but we gave everyone a pair of shoes, and I sang a few songs and stuff. It was cool to see the kids smiling, you know, even if it was just for the three minutes that I was in there singing. That’s one of the coolest things doing what I’m doing because you know you have so much power to make people happy. And that’s pretty much what I do it for, so it’s cool.
Q: What was it like hearing your song at the movie premiere of Hop?
Cody: I sing the theme song to that movie – “I Want Candy.” It was very cool. That was my first time working with a movie. They contacted us and wanted me to remake the song, and it was such a classic. I’d heard it so many times. So it was cool to put my own spin on it!
Q: You now have Cody Crunch cereal. How many bowls have you eaten?
Cody: Um. . . One. We try to keep it healthy. Sugary cereals are like my favorite thing to eat, but I can’t always eat it because it is very unhealthy. We tried to make it taste good but also have the nutrition.
Ratha: Watch out Cap’n Crunch – here comes Cody!
Cody: And it was one of my dreams. I’ve had two dreams. I wanted to have my own cereal and a bobblehead of myself. And one of them has come true. The second one we’re still working on.
Ratha: There is now a Cody Simpson doll, but sadly, his head does not bobble. You know you’re famous when you have your own bobblehead.
Q: You have performed for the President at the White House?
Cody: Yeah, I met the President! I actually woke up sick that morning and my throat was strained. It was sore. I got through the show. It worked out great. We met the President and his family, and that was one of the coolest experiences. I’d never been star-struck like that. I guess being a president makes you a celebrity, and I was very star-struck when I met President Obama.
Q: What books have influenced you?
Cody: I read this book with my dad called The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier and that was very inspiring. I like reading biographies, so I read the Justin Timberlake biography. That was very inspiring to me musically. And Michael Phelps’ No Limits. That was very inspiring to me with the dedication that he puts into his work. I also like to read adventure books. This Australian author named Matthew Reilly is a great, great author to me. My favorite one that he’s written is called Contest. And Harry Potter! Like, imagination-wise. J.K. Rowling has such a great creativity in her writing.
And there you have it on Cody Simpson. Look for lots more of him in 2012! Are you a fan? Drop a line and let us know in the Comments below!
— Ratha, STACKS Writer
Interview by Marie Morreale